First Christmas in Longgang, first Christmas of “real” work, first Christmas I feel quite displaced, or out of place.. out of any dimension.. Also, first Christmas in ages that I went to church!! Yesterday night, 24th evening, I went with some of the new colleagues here to the church service for Christmas! A miracle! And a lot of funny aspects.. the only reason I went (with the “fear” to say no to the one that asked!)
I was actually expecting to be stricken by a lightning the moment I was crossing the doors.. vampire kind of thing.. It would have been fun, probably the only funny part of th evening, but it did not happen! So I had to go inside and “enjoy” the special Xmas service and then the so-called “party”. I must say that one colleague propsoed this to all the other factory people: she is extremely religious, kind of attending the church every day, and even having the church songs, hymns and prayers on the mobile phone, to help the other people following! Anyway, apparently I was not the only one that was to shy to say no to her, because, as I have been told after, all the other colleagues as well went there for the first time! And surely the last.. and they got bored even faster than me (and except 2 others, they all left with some “acceptable” excuses much before the official end).
I walked past the church a few times, but I admit I never noticed it and I think the cross was not lit, at least not always:
It is behind Tesco supermarket, and between a couple of KTV, a club, a massage place and a quite large restaurant open until late.. No, I never noticed there was a church there, even on called “modern” by my colleague!! On the other hand, just outside the KTV on the left there were really pretty girls! To be visited one day or another! 😉
The church was protestant, and surprisingly full of people. I thought there would have been food, only reason to have so many Chinese in the same big room, but no, I was wrong. They were really there for the service and feeling closer to their god. The service was opened by a quite possessed woman that had a long monologue with, here and there, some humming of approvation from the audience (amen? not sure what they were saying). What was amazing was the speed of talk of the woman! I thought actually she was a priest and that was the sermon, but her voice was so flat! Like when reading or telling the lyrics of a song, no passion, nothing.. one word after the other, and the feeling she was not reading. Actually no idea, because nobody translated for me!
Then she was followed by the actual priest and the real sermon: he did put more emphasis in his words (and lots in his tie!! I wonder what he will wear for new year!) but he words that most often came out were China and Jerusalem (very easy to understand in Chinese!): I was confirmed afterwards that it was quite a political talk as well. Maybe normal.. but my memories of sermons were very different!! Other times, other places, other people. In common with some old memory though there was the length of the sermon: a long one! Funny also to see how much he moved, arms and body, in a very Italian fashion.
After so much being a good boy for Christmas, different form the past years, I went to Starbucks for one good coffee drink & cake and this morning I also “celebrated” with coffee and anotehr special cake I found around here (but also in another place in China) and I love it! It is some sort of bread sweetened with honey and some sirup I guess, but I cannot really say how they make it..
My coffee cup from my last job in Norway is a memory of what I miss at working level, and of course some of the people I left behind there..
To all the people I met and loved and missing in days like this, happy special days around the world, working meaningless day here, the biggest warmest hug I can send now with: